Review Volume 3, Issue 9 pp 821—828

Hormesis, cell death and aging


Figure 1. Autophagy and hormesis. In baseline conditions, autophagy contributes to the maintenance of cellular homeostasis by removing potentially dangerous mitochondria (or other damaged organelles) and by ensuring the disposal of protein aggregates. This might have anti-aging effects and prolong healthy lifespan by elevating the threshold of damage required for the induction of cellular dysfunctions or death. In this scenario, while high doses of agents that stimulate both autophagy and cell death (e.g., BH3 mimetics) would be toxic (A), low doses of the same agents might provoke a hormetic response and hence favor the adaptation of cells to stress (B). MOMP, mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization.